Boeing resumes deliveries of 787 Dreamliners after pause, edges Airbus in Q1

Boeing delivered 64 aircraft in March, edging out the 61 aircraft delivered by Airbus

Deliveries of the Boeing 787 "Dreamliner" jet resumed last month which helped elevate the U.S. aircraft maker over its European rival Airbus in terms of aircraft delivered and new orders in the first quarter.

Boeing reported Tuesday that it delivered 64 commercial aircraft in March – an amount that nearly equaled combined deliveries in January and February. That total included seven of the widebody 787s that have been in high demand from airlines but have experienced repeated delays in the last two years due to manufacturing and regulatory issues. 

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) allowed 787 deliveries to resume in mid-March after a weeks-long pause. However, the regulator has also called on airlines to inspect an issue with leaky bathroom faucets in the 787s that may pose a hazard to the jetliner’s electronics. Boeing and the manufacturer have worked on a fix for the problem and are coordinating retrofits with airlines.

FAA WARNS OF SAFETY HAZARD FROM LEAKY FAUCETS IN BOEING 787, CALLS FOR INSPECTIONS

United Airlines Boeing 787 jet

Boeing was permitted to resume deliveries of 787 "Dreamliners" like the above in March which helped the American aircraft maker edge out its European rival Airbus. (Photo by AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images / Getty Images)

The bulk of Boeing’s March deliveries were centered on the smaller 737 MAX jet, with a total of 52 delivered and Southwest Airlines and United Airlines landing a dozen each. It also delivered its first 767 of the year after the company resolved a fuel tank problem, in addition to a trio of 777s.

Boeing received new orders for 60 planes in March and received 22 cancellations, leaving the Arlington, Virginia-based firm with 38 new net orders in March. The new orders consisted of 40 737 MAXs and 20 787s, while the cancellations included 16 MAXs and six 787s. Boeing’s backlog also inched down from 4,559 to 4,555 orders.

BOEING PLANS TO INCREASE 737 MAX PRODUCTION RATES ‘VERY SOON’

A JetBlue Airways plane

Airbus delivered 61 aircraft in March, most of which were A320 variants like the above. ((Photo by AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images) / Getty Images)

Airbus reported the delivery of 61 aircraft in March which increased its total number of deliveries this year to 127 planes. The majority of aircraft delivered by the Blagnac, France-headquartered company were A320 variants that compete with Boeing 737 for orders from airlines.

Airbus received orders for 20 planes in March, while orders for two others were canceled.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
BA THE BOEING CO. 178.39 +1.12 +0.63%
EADSY AIRBUS SE 39.69 +0.45 +1.15%

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Over the course of this year, Boeing has set a target of delivering at least 400 737 MAXs plus 70 787s, whereas Airbus aims to deliver 720 airplanes.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.